The skyscrapers reaching far up into the sky demonstrate Houston's economic good fortune far and wide. Starting in 1901 when black gold was discovered in south Texas, in Beaumont, Houston became the center of the American oil industry. Houston now has over two million residents. In addition, an important harbor is located in Houston. The Houston Ship Canal, 80 km long, connects Houston to the Gulf of Mexico. In the city center are several buildings, parks and squares that are worth a visit: on a sightseeing tour, you should visit the Civic Center, Sam Houston Historical Park, Tranquility Park and the Old Market Square. Those who are interested in warships can visit the battleship Texas, which was used in the Second World War during the Normandy invasion. It is at anchor on the San Jacinto River. The nearby Battleground Monument was erected in memory of the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, in which Texas fought for its independence. The main headquarters of NASA is also located near this Texas metropolis. NASA spaceships and astronaut equipment amaze those who visit the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Two amusement parks just outside the city offer fun for the whole family â€“ the AstroWorld theme park and water park and "Waterworldâ€œ. A special Houston highlight is the annual rodeo, in which the world's best cowboys compete in various disciplines such as bull riding or lasso throwing.